CLIENT: Tendring District Council
BRIEF: Installation of data centre infrastructure and replacement of main comms cabinet with fibre optic and radio links
Tendring District Council have outsourced their Information and Technology services to Liberata Limited, in respect of a wide range of support and maintenance services. Octopus Cabling have been engaged by Liberata as a specialist supplier to deliver the network infrastructure installation and support services on behalf of Liberata to the council’s central and remote offices within the district.
The main computer room for Tendring District Council, is located within Clacton Town Hall. This central facility hosts the majority of the council’s server based corporate applications. The network infrastructure is supported by two central communications cabinets linked by fibre. The council has recently completed a period of rapid redevelopment in respect of the range and scope of their ICT services. This included the total replacement of the voice and data communications infrastructure. Octopus Cabling were called upon by the council to assist in this development in terms of the deployment and development of the LAN infrastructure to support these new facilities.
Technology development on this scale by necessity requires parallel development to be exercised in respect of the supporting infrastructure. Without this support the network infrastructure can deteriorate in terms of efficiency and performance. Octopus Cabling were able to provide this critical support, advice & guidance service to the council. We were able to survey the existing infrastructure and communications installations, identifying areas requiring attention.
As part of this work we were able to identify a number of areas where improvements were necessary to enhance the legacy installations that no longer met the required standards. This included overcrowded communications cabinets, redundant hardware left in situ, inefficient patching and inadequate schedules. Octopus Cabling were able to produce a plan that addressed all of these issues and were subsequently engaged by the council to implement appropriate measures.
Octopus Cabling were able to deliver their services out of hours to minimise the impact on the council services and a number of site project meetings were conducted with the council to plan the implementation. A significant element of the enhancements included the central communications cabinet being replaced by a larger unit to accommodate all of the new components.
To improve the capability and efficiency in respect of connectivity and patching of the servers within the main server room, Octopus Cabling implemented a new solution utilising Category 6 wiring links and 24-port panels within a number of the application server and communication racks. This measure eliminated much of the under floor patching which was starting to cause cable management problems.
The upgrade to CAT6 over the existing CAT5e links within this area would also allow for a more reliable connection with greater performance margins for gigabit data transfer.
In the week preceding the change, Octopus Cabling manufactured, installed and certified the under floor links between the server cabinets and the proposed site of the new comms cabinet.
‘Snakeway’ cable basket was used to ensure that the installation was both neat and well protected. The new 24-port CAT6 panels were installed into the existing server racks in readiness for the changeover.
On the day of the changeover Octopus Cabling engineers dismantled the existing rack and carefully removed all fibre optic and coaxial radio links. All hardware was decommissioned and the old rack removed. The raised floor was cut to accommodate the new, larger rack and subsequently moved into place.
The new CAT6 link panels were installed together with a pre manufactured 24-port CAT6 link to connect the new and remaining communications cabinets. All of the displaced hardware was installed into the new rack and all fibre and coaxial links carefully reinstated and tested. Liberata and British Telecom engineers then re-patched all servers and tested both data and IP telephony connectivity.
The following Monday morning it was business as usual across the entire Tendring District Council organisation. As a precautionary measure, Octopus Cabling provided an engineer was on site as a courtesy, to deal with any subsequent problems, of which there were none.
Octopus Cabling are proud to have seamlessly implemented these critical changes to the council’s communications infrastructure for Tendring District Council, in a timely manner without any interruption to the council’s services.